Rangers still one up on Kings after two periods of Game 4


The Sports Network

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin St. Louis picked up a goal, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 14 shots, and the New York Rangers hold a precarious 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Kings after 40 minutes of action in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals from Madison Square Garden.

During an odd-man rush, Derek Stepan attempted a dish to Chris Kreider in the slot, but the puck slid off a Kings defender and through a needlessly-sliding Jonathan Quick. St. Louis wisely stayed in position on the left wing and tapped the puck in from the near-side post at the 6:27 mark of the second period to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage.

Quick was equal to New York's other 10 shots in the frame.

Dustin Brown halved the Kings' deficit with 8:46 played on a breakaway, moving past Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi -- whose stick failed him at the right point -- and beating Lundqvist after several dekes from atop the crease. The score came two seconds after a Tyler Toffoli slashing minor expired.

Los Angeles' offense seemed to kick into another gear at that point, but Lundqvist stayed calm under the onslaught.

The best chance for the visitors to tie occurred inside a minute remaining, as Jeff Carter swooped in alone from left to right, but Lundqvist denied the chance at the far post with his outstretched pad.

The Rangers received the game's first power play 5:23 in, when Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell sat for high sticking. Quick's defense collapsed around him during New York's mid-advantage flurry, but the visiting netminder still made consecutive stops on Brad Richards and St. Louis in close.

Quick made a glove save on a John Moore drive late in the power play, but was unable to turn away Moore's second chance from the right point, which was tipped off the blade of Benoit Pouliot's raised stick in the slot and sailed home two seconds after the penalty expired. A brief review confirmed Pouliot's blade was below the crossbar.

Less than 10 seconds into a Mats Zuccarello delay-of-game minor, a one-timer by L.A. defenseman Alec Martinez from the left circle squeezed through Lundqvist and laid across the goal line without going over before Rangers blueliner Anton Stralman beat Carter to the loose disc and swept it away.

Less than a minute into the second, Justin Williams led Marian Gaborik with a cross-ice dish to the left circle, but the latter rang his shot off the crossbar to the near side.

Quick stopped Rick Nash and Moore from the left side of his net at the tail end of a 4-on-4 situation just over four minutes in, but he was powerless on the hosts' second tally.

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